So Easter weekend found Owen and I in Barcelona, my favourite European city. It has been a few years since we had been so it was nice to see old favourites and make some new discoveries too.
We flew out on Good Friday with a BA flight which was serviced by Iberian - which is Spanish for naff - but it's a short flight and despite a lengthier-than-usual taxi ride we were back at the charming small hotel H10 Raco del Pi, though sadly not in one of the large rooms at the front. But then that only encourages you not to linger and get out and start to explore.
Saturday started sunny but the rain came on as we queued for tour tickets for the Palau de la Musica Catalana, the famous concert hall which opened in 1908. Everytime I have visited the city before the advance tickets to see inside Lluis Domenech i Montaner's lovely building have sold out so it was my first point-of-call this time. There were a few tickets free for the 1pm so we decided to go for it.
The guided tour lasts about 50 minutes and is a great way to learn the history of it's conception and building as well as explaining the many telling details around the building celebrating Catalan culture and motifs. I immediately wanted to return to see a concert there - just for the experience of seeing the lovely auditorium come to life.
The sun had appeared by the time we came out and we took our place outside with the other visitors trying to find the best angle to photograph the lovely mosaic facade in the cramped street outside!
After a visit to the lovely Cafe d'Estiu which is a favourite place for tea and a chew, we headed down the Ramblas, along Carrer Ferran and down to Owen's favourite ceramic shop just down from the Picasso museum. After buying some much-needed 'things' bowls we stopped off at another favourite chewerie La Princesa 23 for our first bottle of Cava and a much-needed meal. Then back to the hotel to drop off the purchases and freshen up for dinner. The taste-buds are all go in Barcelona...
We went to a great 1st floor restaurant on La Ramblas called Attic, it's run by the same group as our favourite restaurant Citrus so we thought we'd explore. I detected a bit of an eastern vibe going on with a Japanese style design but they had a great menu and I loved the idea of chromatic deserts.... red, yellow, green, white etc. I think we will definitely go back.